Additional $250,000 requested for New Milford legal fees
NEW MILFORD — Town officials are considering a special appropriation of $250,000 to cover legal fees connected to a lawsuit over the cleanup of the former Century Brass site.
The Town Council made the request following an executive session last week. It now heads to the finance board for approval.
The town filed the lawsuit against Standard Demolition Services in January 2016. This came several months after Standard Demolition was awarded a $2.7 million contract to demolish the 320,000-square-foot former brass mill building.
The town contends removing the contaminated steel was part of the job, while Standard Demolition says that responsibility lies with the town.
In legal documents, the town argues it included demolishing the building, as well as associated remediation and abatement as part of the notice to bidders.
The demolition company filed a counter claim arguing that the town said remediation wasn’t necessary. It also said it reduced its bid by $200,000 due to the money it expected to recoup from recycling the steel, according to legal documents.
A trial management conference has been scheduled for Feb. 6.
Costello Dismantling Co., of West Wareham, Mass., was hired in 2016 to complete the work to meet the 2020 remediation deadline set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Century Brass site has sat vacant for more than 30 years. The town began cleaning it up in 2000, a year after it acquired the site. The site has various contaminants. Polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCBs, and asbestos are the most common, but lead paint has been found. There is about 1,500 tons of contaminated steel.
The EPA approved the removal and recycling of the contaminated metal in September 2017. Demolition began in October 2016 and lasted several months.